PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in ancient art

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Ancient Minoan Clothing and Fashion

One of the subjects I'm asked about most often is what daily life was like in ancient Crete. I've written about Minoan food and cooking here and here. And I posted about Minoan cosmetics here, including do-it-yourself recipes. But one thing I haven't really talked about much is the clothes the Minoans wore.

I did write up some information about why women in Minoan art are shown with bare breasts - that one turns out to be my most popular post ever, probably thanks to the word "topless" in the title. But there's more to Minoan clothing than open-front tops, like the ones shown in the fresco at the top of this post (the Ladies in Blue fresco from Knossos). In fact, the Minoans were surprisingly fashion-conscious.

...
Last modified on
Reconstructing Minoan Art: Don't bet your religion on it

As we develop a spiritual practice in Modern Minoan Paganism, one of the sources we look to for inspiration is ancient Minoan art. After all, we have dozens of beautiful frescoes that tell us so much about the world of Bronze Age Crete. Or do they? It turns out, an awful lot of what we think we know is guesswork, often of the worst kind.

That beautiful image at the top of this post is the Prince of the Lilies fresco from Knossos. It's one of my favorite pieces of Minoan art. In fact, it's what inspired me to create The Minoan Tarot. Sir Arthur Evans pointed to it as evidence that there was, indeed, a king ruling at Knossos in Minoan times. But that picture up top is a reconstruction, an artist's rendering of what the original might have looked like, and many people consider it to be totally inaccurate. Let's have a look at the original as it's displayed in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum:

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Teresa Byrne
    Teresa Byrne says #
    Thank you for this honest look at Minoan art. There is so much misinformation out there which is extremely frustrating.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Grandmother Ocean: constant inspiration

The ancient Minoans revered the sea, and that makes perfect sense. After all, they lived on an island just south of Greece. Granted, it's a fairly large one as islands go: about 260 km (160 miles) long and 60 km (37 miles) wide. Still, the weather on Crete has always been mediated by the sea. And the Minoans plied their trade, becoming the wealthiest merchants of their time, by sailing large ships around the Mediterranean and even out the Straits of Gibraltar, up the Atlantic coast of Europe.

We've come to call the Minoan sea goddess Posidaeja, the feminine name that's the probable precursor to the god-name Poseidon. The island of Crete rises up out of the water, born from the sea if you will. Its weather and all the life on the island are directly influenced by the Mediterranean that surrounds it. You can tell how important the sea was to the Minoans from its presence in their art and their sacred spaces; seashells abound on Minoan altars and shrine shelves.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Temples: Ancient Pagans and Sacred Space

In my last article, I put forth the notion that we humans have had the need to create art encoded into our DNA. Along with the need to create images, humans have had the need to “make special,” to “make sacred,” and art can fulfill this need. By bringing art into a space, humans make the space special. When the art reflects beliefs about the divine, the art that inhabits that space makes it sacred. I spoke at length about cave paintings in my last entry, and I believe that those paintings could in fact have been making ancient caves into sacred spaces.

As humans moved from a hunter gatherer existence into something more settled, areas where they settled often included sacred places where their relationships with the divine could unfold – temples. When I was in graduate school, I strove to understand what installations were and what “site specific” art, as installations are more commonly called these days, were and where they fit into art history. Temples themselves are “site specific,” created to meet the needs of a particular people in a particular place. In this article, I will look at some pre-historic peoples and their need for the creation of permanent sacred space.

...
Last modified on

Additional information